June 21, 2015
Bridge being able to benefit from government funding in Britain had contradictory results recently–approval as officially having “health and wellbeing benefits” but dissent from Sport England when it comes to including bridge in the Olympics.
The European Union is o.k. with bridge in the Olympics, Olympic Council of Asia approves. Only Sport England (in charge of dispensing government funding and lottery money to sports) dissents, saying that bridge is “no more a sporting activity than sitting at home, reading a book.”
In April, however, a High Court judge ruled that the English Bridge Union could appeal the ruling by Sport England and that will happen in September–in plenty of time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
As to the Olympics in 2020 . . . I’ve been saying for a couple years now, I want to live until 2016 to find out what on earth happens to the Republican Party, especially now with 20+ candidates. Now I’ll have to live to 100 to find out how on earth there can be bridge in the Olympics understandable to a sports audience?
Or perhaps they won’t even try to reach a general audience? Who gets to decide the format and the rules of engagement? I would love to hear from anybody who knows about proposed inclusion of bridge in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, in Asia there will be two interim “Olympics” that do include bridge among the sports–2017 South East Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur and 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
If covered by TV, I guess we’ll find out what Bridge Olympics will look like.
Benefits to health & wellbeing from bridge
Tracey Crouch, is a member of Parliament and Sports Minister. Just a couple weeks ago she announced the affirmation of bridge as a mind sport, recognizing its value and benefits to health and that “approaches for funding support could be made to the departments of education or health.”
No word I found on how she feels about bridge as part of the 2020 Olympics.
But that thought of official approval of bridge as beneficial to health and wellbeing (like not smoking, exercising etc.) is an angle I’ve thought of but not pursued. President Obama’s Kansan grandparents were bridge players–enough of a tagline for me to send him (or better yet Michelle Obama) a copy of my book, and a pitch for bridge in reaching 90 dementia-free.
I confess I got the idea from my seat companion on a flight to Atlanta a couple of years ago, while sitting on the tarmac for 3 hours delay. He was en route to seeing his grandmother having surgery and in hospital. As we talked about her and all she does in her 80s, turned out that she, like me, is an over-aged self-publisher. Her book was on dogs.
Ended up saying (something like): “You ought to do what my grandma did, send a book to the White House. She got a great comment and a newspaper story about her book.”